I am a 6th-year Ph.D. candidate in Sustainable Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs. I am on the job market for AY 2022-2023 and will be available for interviews at the AEA/ASSA.
I work on environmental economics, applied micro, and the digital economy.
Upcoming trips - please be in touch if you're around!
May 31 - June 2, AERE Summer Conference, Portland, ME
June 6 - 7, Northeast Workshop on Energy Policy and Environmental Economics, Cornell University
June 11 - 14, American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon) Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO
Job market paper:
This paper provides the first causal evidence that hostile activities online lead to physical violence. Given the recently documented relationship between pollution and social media, I exploit exogenous variation in local air quality as the first step to instrument for online aggression. In an event study setting, I find volatile organic compounds (VOCs) increase by 7% when refineries experience unexpected production outages. Together with higher air pollution, I find more aggressive behaviors both online and offline, as well as worse health outcomes near refineries. A one standard deviation increase in surrounding VOCs leads to 0.16 more hate crimes against Black people and 0.23 more hospital visits per thousand people each day. Second, I consider how emotional contagion spreads through social networks. On days with pollution spikes, surrounding areas see 30% more offensive and racist tweets and 12% more crimes; those geographically distant but socially networked regions also see offensive and racist tweets increase by 3% and more crimes by 4.5%. Nationally, overlooking spillovers would underestimate crime effects of pollution by 24%. My findings highlight the consequences of social media hostility and contribute to the public debate on cyberspace regulation.
Work in progress:
China’s Air Pollution Responses to the 2018 Trade War (with Lei Li). ungated version: https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/doi/10.7916/mw3h-6n72
Heat Stress in Rails (with Andrew Wilson). ungated version: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3504234
Methane Leaks and Federal Policy (with Douglas Almond)
Economic Impact of COVID-19 Containment Policies: Evidence Based on Novel Surface Heat Data from China (with Elaine S. Tan, Yasuyuki Sawada). https://ssrn.com/abstract=4258493
Douglas Almond, Xinming Du, Anna Papp (2022). Favourability towards Natural Gas Relates to Funding Source of University Energy Centres. Nature Climate Change.
Douglas Almond, Xinming Du (2020). Later Bedtimes Predict President Trump’s Performance. Economics Letters, 197: 109590.
Douglas Almond, Xinming Du, Valerie Karplus, Shuang Zhang (2021). Ambiguous Air Pollution Effects of China's COVID-19 Lock-Down. AEA Papers and Proceedings, 111: 376-80.
Xinming Du (2023). Competing with Clean Air: Pollution Disclosure and College Desirability. Ecological Economics, 204: 107631.
Douglas Almond, Xinming Du, Alana Vogel (2022). Reduced Trolling on Russian Holidays and Daily US Presidential Election Odds. PLoS ONE, 17(3): e0264507.
Junjie Zhang, Zhenxuan Wang, Xinming Du (2017). Lessons Learned from China's Regional Carbon Market Pilots. Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, 0(2).
Media coverage: Guardian, Yahoo, Boston Globe, Newsweek, The Nation, Gizmodo, Heidi News, Union of Concerned Scientists